LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Frank Mann was a larger than life figure in the Southwest Florida community, serving as a Lee County Commissioner for nearly twenty years.
On Saturday, his colleagues on the commission and members of the public gathered to pay their respects to Mann and his family at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers.
“He touched every part of Lee County, he worked till the last day,” said District 2 Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass.
Other commissioners found it difficult to summarize Mann’s legacy in just a few words.
“Frank Mann was an icon, and it was a pleasure working with him,” said District 1 Commissioner Kevin Ruane.
“You can’t drive on any road around here or drive by any park around here without thinking about Frank and knowing that his fingerprints were on it somewhere,” added District 4 Commissioner Brian Hamman.
Commissioner Mann was a lifelong resident of Lee County, starting his career in public service in 1974.
From there, he spent a total of twelve years in the Florida legislature, representing Lee, Charlotte, and Collier counties in Tallahassee.
In 1986, he was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Florida.
After being first appointed to a seat on the Lee County Commission in 1993, he would go on to be elected four times, serving almost twenty years.
During those years, he served as Chairman of the Lee County Commission, the Lee county Port Authority, and the Tourist Development Council.
His long list of achievements is something that his colleagues say is a testament to his passion for public service.
“I knew him as a child, I knew him as an adult here in the community. And he was always a leader in our community,” said Commissioner Pendergrass.
Sheriff Carmine Marceno also recalled Mann’s leadership qualities before presenting his flag to Mann’s family at Saturday’s memorial service.
“I love the fact that he stood for what he wanted, no matter what it was, you always knew where he stood, and I really appreciated that. He was very genuine, real, and heartfelt,” says the Sheriff.
Mann’s oldest son, Frank Mann Jr., says that his leadership qualities will be the driving force that keeps his enormous legacy alive.
“He, at the core of his being, was neither a Republican or a Democrat, he was a public servant,” says Mann Jr.